My name is Laurette Hanna. I am the daughter of immigrants, both of whom came from Lebanon when they were fourteen years old to escape a civil war. My mother came with her family, my father with his two brothers. They were, in a sense, refugees. I am 100% Lebanese, and identify very strongly with my Middle Eastern culture. Because of this, I have a strong attachment to the rights of refugees and immigrants, specifically those from the Middle East who are being kept out of countries around the world due to fear.
I am the first born and an older sister to one brother. I was lucky enough to go to high school in a well-to-do town that had many resources and classes for me to explore my interests and gain experiences that are crucial to how well I have been doing in college. I have also been lucky enough to go to University of Washington, which opens up many opportunities and allows me to live in a city setting. Not only did it expose me to new opportunities but it allowed me to meet people who had had different experiences and backgrounds.
I am very open to change and challenges. Come from a long line of very independent women who have encouraged me to go fearlessly into any change and challenge that lies before me with and open mind and the humility to acknowledge that I may not know everything but the willingness to learn. I also come from a family who encourages travel as a hands on way to learn about those people and cultures that are different to you. I’m hoping that when we arrive that Berliners see that I am there to genuinely learn and do what I can to help,
I’m sure that you have noticed that I’ve said the word “lucky” a few times in this reflection. This is because I understand I come from a place of privilege. My parents were able to provide for me and provide the chance to engage in an amazing education. I try to be mindful of the privilege I have and use it to do good. I’m currently working at a nonprofit called Citizen University. The founder, Eric Liu, said once (and I’m paraphrasing here) that he was lucky enough to be born into the family he was born into and to have the experiences he had, and his life’s goal in to earn the privilege he had the dumb luck of being born into. I deeply identify with this statement. This is one way I am trying to live up to this goal, and to try to help people in need.
Laurette Hanna will be a sophomore at the University of Washington with intended majors in psychology and political science. She is hoping to pursue a career in law with a focus in social justice and civil litigation, with goals to work for the ACLU.